EC to decide on Samajwadi Party symbol today

After hearing both the factions of Samajwadi Party today, the Election Commission has reserved its order on the election symbol controversy.

The petitions filed by the SP factions staking claim to the symbol comes months after a bitter power struggle erupted in the Yadav family, ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.

Appearing for Mulayam, former Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran argued that since there was "no vertical split in the party such as SP (Mulayam) and SP (Akhilesh)", the commission lacked jurisdiction to allocate the symbol to one of the groups. Congress leader Kapil Sibal too was present in his capacity as a lawyer along with Supreme Court lawyer Rajiv Dhawan and Devendra Upadhyay. "We are finalising our list of candidates and it will be out soon", said Naresh Uttam, SP state president appointed by Akhilesh replacing his warring uncle Shivpal Yadav.

On Friday, the full Election Commission, headed by chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi, will hear both the sides and take a decision on the party symbol based on the deposition by lawyers of both the camps.

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On January 5, the EC had asked the party factions to prove their strength in terms of support from MLAs, MPs and MLCs by submitting signed affidavits.

On January 11, Mulayam had reportedly told party workers that the ruling Samajwadi Party will not be allowed to split and by saying this, he also hinted that he was mentally prepared to tone down his stance in front of son Akhilesh. It maintained that Mulayam Singh Yadav remained the party's national president. Citing precedence, they told the Commission's panel that the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister enjoys the support of the majority of party's legislators in the State and in Parliament.

The EC was called in to decide who gets the "cycle' symbol after Mulayam and his so Akhilesh failed to resolve their differences".

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